114th birth anniversary of Dr Harekrushna Mahatab: The Creator of Modern Odisha and founder of Odia News Paper Prajatantra #UtkalaKeshari #DrHarekhrushnaMahatab #BirthAnniversary #Legend #Odia #Odisha #IndianNationalCongress #Respect
Dr. Harekrushna Mahatab (November 21, 1899 – January 2, 1987) was the dazzling luminary in the azure firmament of politics for a span of about 40 years. Words fail to picture out the connotations of the multi-dimensional personalities who towered phoenix-like in the contemporary era. His contributions are myriad to awaken, enliven and enlighten moribund Odisha. Right from 1936 till his demise in 1987, he prevailed and pervaded the Odishan time and live as a statesman, pioneer of a new dawn, leader par excellence, litterateur who hatched the wagons of languishing Odisha to a star. He was the Odishan protagonist of Independence moment from 1940 to 1950 and played the pioneering role in the amalgamation of princely listed states of Odisha with the union in 1948-49. He was a versatile genius who had possessed the qualities of a great man. He was in a line a freedom fighter, an astute politician, a prolific writer, an eloquent speaker, a social scientist, a reputed journalist, a celebrated historian, a popular leader, an architect of modern Odisha, a nation builder and above all a statesman in the true sense of the term. Pioneering in multidimensional fields he himself had become an institution. I pay my tributes on his birth anniversary. (src :- Gorvachove Pothal )
Dr Harekrushna Mahatab (21st Nov1899 – 2nd Jan1987) was in a line a freedom fighter, an astute politician, a prolific writer, an eloquent speaker, a social scientist, a reputed journalist, a celebrated historian, a popular leader, an architect of modern Odisha, a nation builder and above all a statesman in the true sense of the term. He was popularly known as Utkal Keshari for his role in building the modern Odisha.
He was born at Agarpara (Bhadrak) to a wealthy family. He discontinued his studies in the midway from Ravenshaw College (Cuttack) and plunged into freedom movement and became a true disciple of Gandhi. After the untimely demise of Pandit Gopabandhu Das he became the spearhead of the freedom struggle in Orissa till India’s independence. He participated in the movement against untouchability in 1934 and opened his ancestral temple to all for the first time in Odisha. He was nominated to the Congress Working Committee by Subhas Chandra Bose in 1938 and continued till 1946 and again from 1946 to 1950.
Mahatab was the first Chief Minister of Odisha from April 23, 1946 to May 12, 1950 & again from 1956 to 1960. During his tenures as the Chief Minister, he played significant role in the merger and integration of former princely states within Odisha which was admired by Sardar Patel & adopted across India. He established Hirakud Dam Project, shifted the capital from Cuttack to BBSR in 1949, Kalinga Iron Works, Ferro- Manganese Work at Joda, Cement, Steel and Aluminum Plants which served as the milestones on the path of economic progress of Orissa.
He was the founder of the Prajatantra Prachar Samiti and started the weekly magazine Prajatantra in 1923 at Balasore, which later became the Dainika Prajatantra & is still in circulation. He was the chief editor of a monthly journal Jhankar since its inception in 1949. He received the Sahitya Academy Award in 1983 for the third volume of his well-known work, Gaon Majlis. His autobiography ‘Sadhanara Pathe’ itself is the main source to reconstruct the history of freedom movement in Odisha. He has written numerous books on Odsiha’s history (ancient kings, freedom struggle, political scenario etc).
He final political years was carried out from hi residence – Ekamra Niwas, Old Town, BBSR & the road which is now named after him – Mahatab Road. He is survived by his son Bhartruhari Mahatab, a prominent politician. He is among the few political person from Odisha on whom Govt of Indi had released a postage stamp. The Odisha State Library in Bhubaneswar which was initially named as Gandhi Bhawan since its opening in 1959 was renamed as Harekrushna Mahatab State Librarty in 1987 (his year of demise).